My Year Ups / by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson

This week, A Year Up became a New York Times bestseller.  Every successful person has had a "year up." A person who believed in you when others didn't, who opened a door for you so that you could start the next chapter in your life. For me, that was Deborah Dean-Nelson.  Now in full disclosure, my work as founding Executive Director of Year Up National Capital Region is included in the book, and they share my story about Deborah. What the book leaves out is how before and after Deborah, I had so many more "year ups".  There was Marko Jovanovich who gave me a huge project when my confidence was shot, Clifton Anderson who politely corrected me when I asked what type of soup was soup du jour, Martin Wood who believed that I could run a Mexican mortgage bank acquisition when I had absolutely no experience doing anything of the kind.  The list is endless and the impact is immeasurable.  Without them, I could have been another statistic.  Another person with potential unrealized.  It is why I believe so strongly in creating environments where people thrive and connecting people to opportunity, no matter where they've started out or ended up.  Providing and receiving "year ups" and redefining who and where talent is will be exactly what our country needs to reclaim our legacy as the Land of Opportunity.